View Full Version : Gore's Climatological Pelagianism and the IPCC

03-02-2010, 02:58 PM
Al Gore tries to rally the cause of global warming by denying the impact of Climategate and by urging redemption through cap and trade, even as the IPCC admits its science needs an external review. By James Heiser

Gore's Climatological Pelagianism and the IPCC (http://www.jbs.org/jbs-news-feed/6036-gores-climatological-pelagianism-and-the-ipcc)

James Heiser | John Birch Society (http://www.jbs.org/)
02 March 2010

Months after Climategate rocked to foundations of the theory of manmade climate change, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) appears willing to concede there might be a need for an external review of their science.

One of the latest scandals to surface in the aftermath of Climategate — Glaciergate (http://www.jbs.org/jbs-news-feed/5916-glaciergate-climategate-and-osama-bin-laden) — erupted when the credibility of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (2007) was undermined by the revelation that a key element of the report lacked any credible scientific support. The IPCC had claimed that the Himalayan glaciers would melt away by 2035, without a single published, peer-reviewed study to substantiate the claim.

In fact, the request for a review will be coming from the IPCC and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). (This would, of course, be the same UNEP which recently called for environmental damage during times of war to be treated as a “war crime.” (http://www.jbs.org/jbs-news-feed/5671-un-report-says-wars-hurt-the-environment)) According to ScienceMag.org (http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2010/03/more-details-from-ipcc-official-.html),

Chris Field, who co-chairs the IPCC's Working Group II, hinted at some details in an interview with ScienceInsider yesterday. He envisioned the organization running the review being "a major scientific society or a coalition of National Academies of Science." It wasn't that UNEP was imposing the review on IPCC but that the two groups were requesting it in a "partnership," he said.

The organization doing the review would set the terms of reference, said Field, but he said he "hoped" the review would look into a few questions: "Are the IPCC procedures what they should be? Are the procedures being followed properly? Are the authors trained/being given guidance sufficiently? Are new structures needed for new challenges, like correcting errors?" Also, he said, "I would love to see guidance on conflicts of interest from the review."

The question which ought to get asked (but probably won’t) is: Is the requested review too little and too late to save a theory which a growing portion of the population thinks is quackery?

No doubt advocates of the climate change theory would like to blame their critics for its poor standing in public opinion. After all, Sir David King, former scientific advisor to UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, tried to blame corporations, critics and even the Russians (http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/tech-mainmenu-30/environment/2864-adviser-blames-qclimategateq-revelations-on-espionage) for the Climategate revelations, before admitting he really doesn’t have any proof (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/01/david-king-climate-emails-speculation) who was behind the leak of the emails.

But the theory has been undermined by its advocates. This fact is as much as conceded by the IPCC and UNEP in this call for an external review.

But who will conduct the review? It is observed in an article (http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/02/27/global-warming-panel-seeks-independent-review-reports/) from the Associated Press:

"But we recognize the criticism that has been leveled at us and the need to respond," [IPCC chairman Rajendra] Pachauri said in the statement.

One example of the criticism was a Senate speech earlier this month when Sen. James Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican who is a longtime climate change skeptic, called problems with the IPCC "the makings of a major scientific scandal."

"There is a crisis of confidence in the IPCC," Inhofe said Feb. 11. "The challenges to the integrity and credibility of the IPCC merit a closer examination by the US Congress."

The panel shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 with former Vice President Al Gore. The panel was created by the United Nations and the World Meteorological Organization.

Pachauri's statement said the panel consulted with the United Nations and plans to find "distinguished experts" to review how it write its reports.

There were no details on how the review would be done. They will come sometime in early March, according to Pachauri's statement.

But one of the troubles is that the IPCC is written by most of the world's top experts in climate science. And the experts who don't write it, often review it, so it's hard to find someone both independent and knowledgeable.

Or, to put it another way: Belief in the theory of anthropogenic global warming has been established as a mark of the ‘credibility’ needed to be taken seriously by the IPCC, UNEP and, of course, The Press. Therefore, one must assume that adherence to theory will be necessary to establish any reviewers as ‘experts’ in the eyes of the IPCC, UNEP and The Press. But many, if not most, of those whom they would deem ‘experts’ have already been involved in formulating or promulgating the very science which is supposed to be reviewed.

And the last thing they will want to do is turn the independent review over for scientifically credible analysis by critics of the theory. For now, all we can do is wait to see what Pachauri does next.

When even the IPCC admits that its ‘science’ is in need of external audit, you know that it is time for the climate change’s most devout true believer to weigh in: Al Gore.

Writing in an ‘op-ed’ for The New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/28/opinion/28gore.html), former Vice President Gore appears to remain oblivious and impenitent concerning the implications of the revelations of the past few months.

It is true that the climate panel published a flawed overestimate of the melting rate of debris-covered glaciers in the Himalayas, and used information about the Netherlands provided to it by the government, which was later found to be partly inaccurate. In addition, e-mail messages stolen from the University of East Anglia in Britain showed that scientists besieged by an onslaught of hostile, make-work demands from climate skeptics may not have adequately followed the requirements of the British freedom of information law.

But the scientific enterprise will never be completely free of mistakes. What is important is that the overwhelming consensus on global warming remains unchanged. It is also worth noting that the panel’s scientists — acting in good faith on the best information then available to them — probably underestimated the range of sea-level rise in this century, the speed with which the Arctic ice cap is disappearing and the speed with which some of the large glacial flows in Antarctica and Greenland are melting and racing to the sea.

So, let’s get this straight: The Himalayan glacier ‘data’ was wrong. The emails of the scientists at the CRU of the University of East Anglia allegedly reveal disturbing expressions of an intent to suppress studies critical of global warming, and to illegally conceal data from legitimate inquiry. (Gore skips the part where the folks at the CRU admit they shredded much of the original data (http://www.jbs.org/jbs-news-feed/5711-scandal-over-missing-climate-documents-continues), making it impossible to review their science.) And they were wrong about the arctic. And they were wrong about sea levels (http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/tech-mainmenu-30/environment/3017-heavyweights-call-for-global-warming-probes). And, well, NOAA (http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/tech-mainmenu-30/environment/2930-noaa-and-the-new-qclimategateq-scandal) may have been cherry-picking its data.

All of this — and much, much more — just amounts to mistakes, and “the scientific enterprise will never be completely free of mistakes.” But the theory Mr. Gore advocates relies on precisely the points which have now come into question, and the fact that he has personally amassed a substantial fortune in the process of promoting the climate change theory does not do his credibility any favors.

Gore’s recent appeal to an act of “collective will (http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/tech-mainmenu-30/environment/2264-al-gore-appeals-to-qcollective-willq-to-solve-climate-change)” to address climate change signaled that his message was, if anything, becoming more odd. The latest outburst in The New York Times does nothing to mend such an impression. In fact, he breaks out some of his classically “over the top” rhetoric for last:

From the standpoint of governance, what is at stake is our ability to use the rule of law as an instrument of human redemption. After all has been said and so little done, the truth about the climate crisis — inconvenient as ever — must still be faced.

The pathway to success is still open, though it tracks the outer boundary of what we are capable of doing. It begins with a choice by the United States to pass a law establishing a cost for global warming pollution. The House of Representatives has already passed legislation, with some Republican support, to take the first halting steps for pricing greenhouse gas emissions.

Since Gore has apparently decided to add ‘theologian’ to his list of accomplishments, we will engage his declaration regarding “human redemption.” Mr. Gore, “human redemption” is not accomplished by “collective will” or “rule of law”; it certainly won’t be accomplished by some variation on ‘cap and trade.’ Redemption is by grace alone; ‘good works’ follow after redemption, Al. Climatological Pelagianism is just as false as the old 5th century variety, and it certainly doesn’t help the credibility of a theory which is already in jeopardy.